University of Greenwich receives grant of more than one million euros

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By poppy_smith | Thursday, November 15, 2012, 18:29

Business experts at the University of Greenwich have received a grant of more than one million euros to investigate the potentially devastating effects on society of price-based competition by governments and policy-makers.

Their four-year research project, worth €1.15 million (£815,000), will examine the impact of increased marketisation in European countries. Marketisation is the introduction or intensification of price-based competition. Examples include the globalisation of markets for goods, services, labour and capital; outsourcing in the private economy; and competitive tendering in public services.

Funded by the European Research Council, the project will be carried out by the university's Work & Employment Research Unit, which is part of its Business School.

Professor Ian Greer, who is leading the research, says it will examine the social effects of marketisation, such as a greater gap between rich and poor, less job security and the growth of an economic underclass.

He says: "The research matters as most policy-makers believe that marketisation is a really useful tool for improving the efficiency of economies. But what they have not considered are the broader effects of these policies. Our research will explore whether marketisation leads to an increase in social inequality in terms of income and job security, and if those at the bottom of the labour market are affected the most. We could see greater poverty and disenfranchisement, and the continued growth of a social underclass."

The project team, which includes Dr Lefteris Krestos and Dr Charles Umney, will concentrate on four European countries, including the UK, and will also be focusing on one of the EU member states which has received a financial bailout package.

The university will stage two international workshops as part of the project.

Professor Greer adds: "I would like to see policy-makers across Europe start to think about the social effects of intense price-based competition, and we intend to put our findings in front of them."

As Professor of Comparative Employment Relations, Ian Greer is an expert in trade union strategy and labour market policy. His work has been widely published in journals including Industrial Relations, New Technology Work and Employment, Politics & Society and the British Journal of Industrial Relations.

For more on the university's Work & Employment Research Unit:

To find out more about studying business at the University of Greenwich:, or call 020 8331 9000.



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